1. Introduction to Courier Companies
The way online shopping has taken over the way we shop has only been possible because of the ecommerce courier companies. Courier companies and delivery agents stay on the ground and do most of the legwork to ensure that customers get their orders on time. In fact, the success of an online business is greatly dependent on the kind of courier company it partners with.
Since shipping is such a huge chunk of any successful online business, it’s important that you hire the right courier company for it. But it’s easier said than done. After all, the rise of ecommerce has flooded the market with courier companies offering attractive shipping and delivery management services to online retailers. To help you tease out the best of the best we have made a heavily researched list of the 10 best courier companies in the world for ecommerce shipping. We will find out more about that in a little bit but first let’s find out all the ways a courier company can help an online business.
2. What is the Importance of Courier Companies in the Ecommerce Shipping World?
You know that fairytale about Cinderella where the mice bring the pumpkin chariot and ride her to the Prince’s palace? Well, courier companies are like those wonderful mice that helped Cinderella reach her dream without ever featuring much in the storyline. What we mean is that courier companies essentially work in the shadows. They are rarely seen doing all the magic shipping work they do even when they manage the shipping operations of large ecommerce enterprises.
Courier companies can truly make or break the reputation of an online business. As soon as an order leaves the seller’s warehouse, it becomes the sole responsibility of the courier company. Yes, many online sellers may choose to have an in-house logistics team oversee the shipping operations. However, it’s good to mention that against popular belief, outsourcing shipping logistics to third-party courier companies (3PLs) is actually more cost-effective than running an in-house team. Moreover, it may still be feasible to house a logistics arm in your ecommerce company when you are still an upcoming business with fewer order numbers. However, as the scale of your operations increase and you start receiving larger monthly order volumes, managing shipping on your own can become frustrating, time-consuming and prone to inaccuracies. This is where courier companies can come in and save the day.
3. Top 10 Courier Companies in the World for Online Businesses [Updated List 2021]
Courier companies can help ecommerce businesses in several ways by looking after end-to-end shipping logistics. This includes packaging, label printing, pickup and drop off, transportation, providing order updates and finally delivering the courier to the customer. Many courier partners also offer many added services such as warehousing, inventory management, shipment and delivery management and tons of other helpful features. Here’s our list of the 10 best courier companies in the world to help you manage your online business and shipping.
FedEx is one of the biggest courier companies in the world offering supply chain management and parcel delivery services. It is headquartered in Tennessee, USA and offers air-drop and time-sensitive deliveries to over 220 countries in the world. FedEx has also recently started last-mile delivery operations to tackle last-mile delivery challenges.
UPS is a world-renowned courier company that offers comprehensive logistics and courier delivery services to ecommerce shippers. It is based out of Georgia, USA and has courier operations in 220+ countries and regions all over the world. UPS offers contract logistics services and comprehensive warehousing solutions to online companies.
3.3) ZTO Express
ZTO Express is a leading name in the ecommerce courier and express delivery industry. It is based out of Shanghai, China and provides courier delivery to Europe and North and South America in 5-8 days and 8-10 days, respectively. It is equipped to transport a variety of different materials like cosmetics, lithium batteries, electronic gadgets and appliances, etc. For international couriers, ZTO Express can clear customs and make duty-free doorstep deliveries.
3.4) Blue Dart
Blue Dart is a logistics and courier company that specialises in express delivery and temperature-controlled fleet delivery. Blue Dart is headquartered in Mumbai, India and has operations in 220+ countries across the globe. Blue Dart offers a feature called Smart Box that provides ecommerce companies boxes to fit in shipments of 10 to 25kgs for doorstep delivery. Being a subsidiary of DHL, Blue Dart also provides superior insurance plans on high value items.
3.5) Deutsche Post AG
Deutsche Post is a global multinational courier and logistics company with deep network distribution networks all over the world. It is based out of Bonn, Germany and services many locations throughout the world with its vast network of warehouse and storage facilities. Deutsche Post also has an extensive network of post offices throughout Germany for delivery of parcels and mails. Its subsidiary DHL is fully invested in making ecommerce shipping better for online shoppers and online retailers.
3.6) DB Schenker
DB Schenker is a global leader in contract logistics and courier delivery. DB Schenker is a part of Deutsche Bahn AG and has its headquarters in Essen, Germany. It specialises in land, air and sea transport and is the largest courier company for sea transport. It operates in 130+ country and has a massive 8.8 million sq.m warehouse area in 50 countries.
Desk to Desk Courier and Cargo, better known as DTDC is a famous courier company providing end-to-end logistics support to e-commerce companies worldwide. It is based out of Bangalore, India and delivers to 250+ locations worldwide. DTDC provides cross border delivery and last mile delivery services to online businesses. It also offers warehousing, inventory management and order fulfillment services.
3.8) S F Express
S F Express or S F Holding is a Chinese multinational supply chain management and courier company headquartered in Shenzhen, China. It provides domestic and international express delivery services to online retailers along with real-time order tracking features. It also operates warehouses that can hold ecommerce orders and ship them directly to hasten delivery. It is the 4th largest courier company in the world in terms of market share.
3.9) Royal Mail
Royal Mail is a UK-based postal service and courier company that operates out of London. It provides same-day delivery of couriers and posts within the UK. It also provides Guaranteed Special Delivery within 9 am and 1 pm for domestic addresses. All international shipments must be within the 2kg mark to be approved for shipping. International Standard delivery may take anywhere between 3-5 days while International Economy delivery can take up to 2 weeks.
3.10) J D Logistics
JD Logistics is a popular courier company in ecommerce shipping. It provides cargo distribution, transportation, warehousing and other shipping services to online businesses. It operates out of China and provides comprehensive shipping and logistics solutions to online retailers all over the world.
4. How to Choose the Best Courier Company in the World for Your Ecommerce Store?
We can’t begin to put into words just how important having a good courier company is for any ecommerce business. A customer’s post-shipping experience is directly related to customer satisfaction. A good post-shipping experience greatly increases the chances of returning customers and customer retention. As first responders in the logistics industry, we believe every ecommerce company should look for some of the criteria in their courier company. We have listed all the key criteria for the best courier company in the world, down below.
4.1 Number of Serviceable Regions
Serviceability refers to the number of regions or locations a courier company has reach in. Serviceability should play a huge role in deciding on a courier company. You want your courier company to make deliveries to as many locations your business wants to deliver in. Additionally, it’s always better if your courier company services several locations because it will also give you access to a wider delivery network.
4.2 Shipping Rates
Ecommerce shipping comes with a lot of added and hidden charges. When calculating shipping rates, an online company should look for any services that come at additional costs, hidden chargers or special charges. Many services offered by courier companies like Cash on Delivery, customisable packaging and label printing come at added cost. Speak to your courier company to finalise shipping rates and clear all doubts.
4.3 Order Tracking Updates and Real-Time Tracking
A part of what makes online shopping so enjoyable is the ability to track orders all the way to your doorstep. Therefore, an online business must provide its customers the ability to track their orders in real time. Not only that, customers should also be notified every time their order crosses a milestone like Out for Delivery, Reached Nearest Hub, etc. The ability to track orders makes customers feel empowered and builds trust and loyalty among them towards the brand.
4.4 Speedy Delivery
Thanks to Amazon, all customers today want same day or next day deliveries. While it’s not possible to make instant deliveries a reality yet, the best ecommerce companies can do is provide speedier deliveries to customers. If superfast deliveries is something you want to offer your customers, look for courier companies that provide services like hyperlocal delivery, same-day delivery, next-day delivery and last mile delivery solutions. Such deliveries can be made within a maximum of 24 to 48 hours after an order has been placed.
4.5 Specialised Shipping Services
Online businesses offering services in sectors like fashion apparel, electronics and gadgets, home furnishings, handyman services like plumbing, electrician, etc., can hugely benefit from specialized services offered by courier companies. Many courier companies in the ecommerce segment provide specialised services like steam-ironing, assembling of gadgets and furniture, etc. Many courier companies also send their representatives to help out customers on-site.
4.6 Shipment Management
Order management services like warehousing, inventory management and delivery management can be extremely helpful for ecommerce companies. Courier companies with such extra-shipping services can help you save up on hiring staff and renting spacious warehouses. This can lower logistics costs of shipping operations. This capital can be used by ecommerce companies to reinvest in their business.
4.7 Reverse Logistics
Reverse logistics or returns management is a special shipping service where goods are picked up by courier companies from customers for return or exchange. Product returns are extremely common in online shopping. Therefore, it only makes sense to look for returns management in your courier company. A good returns management courier company can help online stores sort out product returns, send out exchanged orders, process faster refunds and cut down the overall cost of returns.
4.8 Insurance Policy
In general, an insurance policy is always a good thing to have in a courier company. But it becomes even more important when you are an online retailer of precious stones, handcrafted jewellery or other valuable articles. Shipping and transportation has the chance of running into losses in the form of damaged, broken or lost products. You want a cover and fall back option when something like that happens. Your terms of insurance should cover everything about how losses will be borne by the courier company and you in case of a major loss.
4.9 Cargo and Shipping Weight Limitations
All courier companies are not equipped to carry the same weight and volume of shipments as others. Cargo and weight restrictions can also apply in case of domestic and international shipping. Whenever looking for a courier company to handle your shipping, always confirm the weight and volume regulations they adhere to. Talking in advance to your courier company will help you avoid complications at the time of actual shipping.
4.10 Proof of Delivery
Order fulfillment is plagued by fake delivery attempts and delivery exceptions. Making Proof of Delivery mandatory after every order delivery should help online stores cope with missed deliveries. Proof of Delivery (PoD) is a digital agreement that is signed by the customer after they receive an order. It brings down the paperwork and also reduces the chances of delivery exceptions. All in all, it’s a good way to keep your peace while making customers happy.
5. Final Conclusion
If e-commerce companies manage the creating, selling and networking part of the business, then courier companies handle the shipping, order management and customer service. Only if both these equally important parts work together and in harmony, can online businesses really thrive. Ecommerce courier companies are responsible for the kind of delivery options (Same Day, Next Day, 2 Hour, Hyperlocal, On-Demand) an online retailer can provide their customers. It is also responsible for managing any mishaps that happen during the shipping process without skipping a beat so that customers still receive their orders on time. Courier companies are the way through which online businesses can deliver on their promise and build trust among customers. We hope this article helps you find the best courier company in the world for your commerce business.